Monday, 10 November 2014

Student aims high with Warriors

Our undergraduates are encouraged to gain as much work experience as possible during the course of their studies.

Chris Wharton embraced this idea while studying his degree, taking opportunities to perform volunteer work with Olympic athletes and an international rugby team. He has now progressed into a full-time role with one of the UK's top sports clubs whilst also undertaking his Master's.

Chis commented: "I worked as Head Performance Analyst for Ireland when they were based in Preston for the Rugby League World Cup 2013. I also coached and analysed athletes from a number of Oceanic countries during London 2012.

"My work came to the attention of Wigan Warriors' First Team Analyst, who was looking to expand his team. I impressed them with my driven attitude at my interview and they offered me an internship role."

Chris continued to make an impression and he was recently offered a full-time contract by the Super League giants.

"The opportunity has really helped me with my courses, because much of the content is based towards applying learning activities to a real-life situation and with this I can apply them to a high professional level," said Chris. "It's also given me the chance to test all my new skills and base my assignments on improving these skills."

Warriors' recent run to the Super League Grand Final saw Chris thrown in at the deep end, providing analysis support to help the coaches prepare for their upcoming opponents. Chris was tasked with monitoring key opposition players, with a view to identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

He added: "In the normal season we would prepare two weeks in advance, but during the play-offs not knowing who we were going to play provided me with many problems. There were many late nights and extra hours done to get information ready for the coaches.

"I also sat with the head coaches on match day and provided stats and data relevant to the match to help them out with team talks, as it gives them a statistical insight into how we're playing.

"I'm really enjoying the job in practice, so becoming head of Wigan Warriors analysis is one of my goals. As rugby league is the national sport of Australia my ultimate aim would be to become a success over there and allow my career to have the highest potential possible.

"Without the help from the lecturers and the opportunities originally offered to me on the course this opportunity would never have come about. Having the willingness to put in an extra evening of work has paid off in the long run."

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